For fans only.

Expectation: The sophomore album by alt-R&B singer Tinashe. Following her debut album Aquarius and 4 mixtapes, this is her 6th release overall. After gaining huge exposure through the Chance the Rapper / Snakehips collaboration “All My Friends”, this album represents the first half of a purported double album, which will see completion in 2017.

NOTEWORTHY TRACKS

  • Lucid Dreaming – Very chill track, making it a bold choice as an album opener. I’m not a fan of Tinashe’s rapping, and the melody didn’t hit home for me either, but the song was at least atmospheric.
  • C’est La Vie – While I enjoy the melody of this song’s hook significantly more than the opener, the drums are so front-and-center in the mix that the dryness of the snare becomes extremely grating, undermining the chill vibe the rest of the instrumental creates. Also she raps again, but worse this time.
  • Company – Just listen to the breakdown of Atari instead to hear the same ideas used far better. Actually, just listen to Choose Your Weapon, because that album is fantastic.
  • Soul Glitch – I just don’t understand why Tinashe chooses to sing these low, lazy melodies that are below her range and on the same song show how fantastic her voice can be when she tries at all.
  • You Don’t Know Me – The intro reversed vocals on the intro and occasional reversed drums are pretty cool. Unfortunately, when you play it forward its still the same drum beat as half the other tracks on the album.
  • Spacetime – Actually a really nice track, quite possibly my favorite on the album. Tinashe layers her vocals to create a dark, layered atmosphere best described as somewhere between Grimes and Lorde. She still raps but its forgivable here.
  • Ride of Your Life – A solid R&B track; the kind you’ve heard a hundred times before, but a pretty good performance of it.
  • Party Favors – The album version drops Thugger’s verse, shortening the track by 7.88% and losing at least 50% of its appeal.
  • Touch Pass – 2-3 minutes worth of good ideas stretched out for almost 5. Still one of the best songs on the album.

Overall: This album is a long 51 minutes. Out of 15 tracks, 12 are nearly identical down-tempo alt-R&B cuts smothered in a dark, moody atmosphere. The other 3 are interludes. If I were to make a single change I feel could massively improve the project, I would add some features. It doesn’t really matter who (though Tinashe could certainly pull some great guests if she wanted to), there just needs to be some change of pace. Aside from that, Tinashe doesn’t bring her A-game on the melodies here; although she flexes her vocal abilities on occasion, doing so would not be an instant fix; even when she sings in her proper register, many of the melodies she creates are dry and forgettable. I just finished my 3rd listen through of the album and I don’t think I could sing the melody to any of the songs on the first half anymore. The vast majority of the tracks feel they have just enough good elements that they could inspire an incredible Towkimonsta remix, but have little appeal as they are.

Score: 3/10

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